It was the best of times it was the worst of times! But thankfully at the end we were all celebrating, we were all ‘breathing again’ and we were all just so relieved!
It had been a year (bar one day), since our last 22-20 victory which came in equally dramatic circumstances at The Lightstream Stadium on Good Friday. This time we got home again by that score, but the boot this time was on the other foot and it was Hull FC that were hanging on for dear life at the end. But, then again, as far as the really good teams go, how many times have we seen Saints, Leeds and Wigan do just that early in the season and scrape home with the points?
If you weren’t emotionally involved then as for drama, well you’d have certainly got your money’s worth at a cold DW Stadium on Friday night. However, despite the fact that the game was a real gripping affair, in the end I would much rather be reporting on an easy win gained after a fabulous start, than an almost tragic capitulation in the final quarter, when we simply couldn’t keep hold of the ball. I know all about the claims of Wigan beforehand concerning the number of players they had out injured and their coaches whinging afterwards that they would have won had they been on Sky, but that’s the game and that sort of rhetoric doesn’t wash much with me at all. But, I will concede that you have to admire the Lancastrians strength in depth and the way that despite trailing 22–0, in the end, had the game gone on any longer, they would most certainly have won.
That alone could be very worrying indeed, but there were some mitigating circumstances on our side too. There was the team arriving late (like most of the other travellers from the East Coast) which caused a truncated warm up, the loss of Danny Houghton and the disruption that brought and the response from a Wigan crowd that finally woke up and apparently for the first time this season came to life. On the plus side we are, after just 6 games, half way to our first target, the accepted safety point for the top eights split, we scored some amazing tries, we scrapped and scrapped when the tide of the game had turned against us and on Saturday morning we sat top of the league after over a quarter of the regular season had passed.
Points are all that matters these days and we got both to go 5 wins from 6 games and who wouldn’t have taken that a couple of months ago in the pre-season. Once the tide of a game has turned against you in the sort of circumstances we saw the other night you have the devil’s own job to turn it back again, but if we didn’t exactly do that, we at least found a way to stem that tide and there were some real heroes out there at the end.
Last weekend I said that I would take anything from the next two games and we got two precious points in a crazy game that left the players out on their feet and us lot on the terraces out of our minds!